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Users Look Ahead to 2007

Data de-duplication, desktop virtualization, and the realities of tape encryption are just some of the challenges looming for IT managers and CIOs in 2007.

Data de-duplication, in particular, has caught the eye of Jeff Rochlin, manager of server strategy and infrastructure at Disney Worldwide Services. "We see it as a real emerging technology, but I don't know how much of it is in production use yet," he tells Byte and Switch.

A number of vendors such as Avamar, Data Domain, Diligent, and Symantec already offer de-dupe products, and others, such as FalconStor and Sepaton, are getting ready to enter the market. The idea behind the technology is that it can compress data that appears in more than one place, prompting vendors to tout major storage capacity savings. (See Dealing With De-Dupe Doubts and New Wave of CDP Rolls In.)

"In many ways, it's a scary, bleeding-edge thing for us," explains Rochlin, adding that removing so much data from his systems is a major worry. "It's frightening that you have these pointers to the data, rather than the data itself -- if a data corruption happens, you're really messed up."

The exec, though, is weighing these concerns against benefits like reduced storage and faster backups. "The paybacks are enormous," he says. "If we do anything with SAP, it can take 60 hours to restore the data," explains Rochlin, adding that de-duplication could shave 18 to 24 hours off this time.

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